If you're a fan of long-lasting gel nail polish, you'll love OPI Diamond Gel, which takes UV-cured nails to the next level. 

Gel manicures have become a salon staple over the last decade, with hundreds of fabulous shades to choose from and polish that lasts up to two to three weeks.

But the one downside of varnish cured under a UV lamp is that once you've chosen a colour you've got to stick with it, because the gel removal process (soaking your nails in acetone or filing the polish off) is rather time-consuming.

A more recent innovation, Diamond Gel is a three-step manicure that can only be applied - and removed - by a nail technician, meaning you can keep your neutral base coat and apply regular nail polish on top, swapping as many times as you like. 

Plus, your manicurist can build, overlay or sculpt your nails at the same time, finishing with a super-shiny top coat.

How is all this achieved in one go? Here, Yung Nguyen, head of beauty at Paul Edmonds London, explains everything you need to know about the incredible OPI Diamond Gel…


"OPI Diamond Gel is a three-in-one hard gel system with a very shiny, glass-like finish," Yung says. 

"It's very strong but lightweight, as each layer is thin. It's similar to acrylic nails but it doesn't have the same strong smell."

Introduced last year by the iconic American nail brand, the salon-only system allows technicians to create a smooth nail base and add length as well as strength. 

"If a client has soft nails and wants to build the nail to be strong this will be ideal for them," Yung explains. "Or if someone has short nails I can add overlays or tips and put the hard gel over the top."

The builder gel - available in clear, pale pink or nude shades - can only be removed with an electric file, she adds: "You can apply classic polish over the top so the client can remove and change the colour at home and the gel will remain underneath."

Gel will remain hard underneath


"I start by shaping and filing the nails as normal, then apply the clear Base Gel coat to grip the nails and cure it for 60 seconds," Yung says.

"Next I apply and cure the Builder+ Gel, which we have in three shades - clear, the iconic OPI pink and a nude colour."

The final coat is the clear Gloss Top Sealer, which is also cured, then clients have the option to finish their manicure with OPI Infinite Shine nail polish.

"I normally apply the clear builder gel if I'm going to do a French manicure," Yung says. "But if a client wants a colour on top then I either use the pink or the nude shade."

Because the Diamond Gel process requires precision application the appointment will take around one hour 45 minutes to two hours, so you can sit back and relax with a coffee or cocktail while one of the beauty team completes your manicure.


The beauty of Diamond Gel polish is that even acetone nail varnish remover won't dissolve it, which is why you can expect to get two for four weeks of wear, even if you swap the top coat colour multiple times.

"Almost nothing can break into this hard gel," Yung says. "Our staff here in the salon love it because even the products they're using won't stain or chip the nails."

Of course, as with any manicure, it's best to treat your Diamond Gel nails with care, she advises: "If you're lifting something heavy or opening a can of Coke don't use the nail tip."

An electric file is needed to remove Diamond Gel Builder+ Gel, but don't worry if you're nervous about your nails feeling weak and damaged after.

"Clients may have had bad experiences in the past but it's dependent on how the E-file is used," Yung says. 

"We only use the E-file as much as we need to and leave a thin layer of polish so the client can grow their nails out or have a Diamond Gel refill."

Diamond Gel Refill

Get set for summer

OPI Diamond Gel is a great option for the warmer months when you want to move away from darker shades and get your nails in shape for holidays or wedding season. 

"At the moment a lot of my clients want more pastel colours or a classic French manicure because it's spring," Yung says. "In particular they're asking for pastel pink, lavender purple and light turquoise or blue."

With Diamond Gel you'll get a hard-wearing manicure and can play around with trendy shades to suit your mood or your outfit.

Book an appointment with one of our nail technicians Paul Edmonds London to try the OPI Diamond Gel manicure, with prices starting at £70.